The Spread, Week 11: Fraud Update

Another bye week is here, so what better time to check in on those teams from the Fraud List? Two teams are being dropped from list, as they appear to have survived long enough to avoid losing five games. Although it’s still technically possible, I don’t think Missouri or Houston (#s 4 and 5, respectively) will hit rock bottom this season. So that’s the good news. The bad? One team has already achieved Fraud status by losing their last five games. Ouch.

1. Northwestern

The Wildcats were #2 on the initial list and they took the challenge to heart. Starting with a sloppy attempt at “The Play” that ended in a touchdown (for Ohio State) and ending with this, Northwestern put together as heartbreaking a five-game skid as you can imagine, losing only once by more than 10 points.

2. Maryland

The Terps’ last four games are three losses and a one point win over Virginia. That makes an otherwise unimposing remaining slate of Syracuse, Virginia Tech, Boston College and NC State seem downright daunting.

3. Washington

If not for the way their schedule sets up, I would probably rank the Huskies a little lower, but at 3 losses already and their two toughest remaining games (UCLA and Oregon State) both on the road (and back-to-back), I just don’t think they’ll pull it off.

4. Michigan

Michigan managed to move down from the top spot by not completely choking after their early narrow escapes against terrible teams. Still, they were completely annihilated by Michigan State and are entering into to a stretch that is just challenging enough to swallow up a battered team seeking an identity.

5. Texas Tech / UCLA

I lean toward the Red Raiders here, but there’s a chance UCLA tanks it too. Tech plays Kansas State before taking on Baylor and Texas on the road, and they could easily lose all three. UCLA has a probable win against Washington, but also has to get by Arizona, Arizona State and USC, all of whom could give them trouble.


  1. So this post has me wondering — what’s the opposite of the Fraud Watch? That would be an interesting thing to consider, too — a team that initially had high expectations but went on to lose their first couple of games and then turns on the jets and becomes a half-way decent team. #5 reminded of two candidates for this — Texas and USC.

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